FCT The National Youth Council of Nigeria recently held an emergency meeting of it executive council at the Youth House, Abuja where its condemned the call on the President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to resign from office due to ill health. It would rather call on all Nigerians especially the youths to pray for his speedy recovery. The meeting where the lingering issues from supremacy and membership tussle of the council’s presidency were discussed, was presided over by the Acting National President Deolu Sotade George. Recently there was a purported meeting and election conducted by non-members led by Mr Akoli Dickson who declared himself President of the Youth Council. In a chat with The Tide, the Ag. President Sotade Goerge said it was the prompt intervention of the law enforcement Agencies that led to the arrest of some hoodlums led by Dickson who invaded the National Youth Council of Nigeria’s secretariat (Youth House) in Abuja, on 4th December, 2009 and stole some valuables including the NYCN Toyota Coaster bus, with registration Number NYCN 04. He called on all Nigerian youth to be calm while the security agencies ensure that the perpetrators are brought justice. At the end of the meeting which lasted several hours, the NYCN executive jointly signed a resolution which includes; that the NEC set up a 6 man congress planning committee with a representative of the ministry to plan the next congress scheduled to hold between 26th and 27th February, 2010, with the responsibility of conducting the bye-election into all vacant positions within the council. Oyo An Oyo-based group, G3, has advised the political elite in Oyo State against fanning embers of negative sentiments, recrimination and destructive tendencies in assessing governance. Rather, it said they should be guided by values such as objectivity thoroughness, and sincerity of purpose, which are the hallmarks of decent, articulate and thoroughly bred elite. At a news conference last week jointly addressed by the President and General Secretary of the group respectively Comrades Isiaka Eweka, and ‘Prince Oluwakayode Afonja, the group commended Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, for impacting positively on the socio-economic lives of the people of the state, especially Oyo town and its environs. The group applauded the leadership role of the council chairman for the distribution of motor cycles and grinding machines to over 1,000 people. However, the group advised critics of the state government not to be visionless and feeble-minded in their thought, but be guided by values such as equal chances for the representation of interest, open debate among alternative view points and platforms, tolerance, fairness, justice, fair play. Ondo The former Chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) Prince Raphael Nomiye at the weekend urged repentant militants to sustain the current peace in the Niger Delta region. He assured that President Umaru Yar’Adua would meet all the demands agreed upon with the Niger Delta militants and the Federal Government in its bid to develop the region. Speaking with reporters in Akure shortly after the swearing in ceremony of new executive committee of Ilaye Regional Development Committee (IRDC) Nomiye said Nigerians should continue to pray for President Yar’Adua to facilitate his early recover, stressing that he meant well for the Niger Delta region and the entire country. Nomiye, who is presently the chairman of IRDC, said the past executive members of the group were not ready to leave office after spending the mandatory four years which terminated on Dec. 15, describing their protest against the dissolution and moves to extend their tenure as an aberration. His words: “The position of state government is clear on IRDC, government cannot allow them to go for tenure extension, those protesting against the dissolution were sponsored by the people who wanted to perpetuate themselves in office, they were planning to cause Chaos in the area.” Lagos A former officer with the Nigerian army, Major Ene has accused the Nigerian Secret Service of threatening her teenage daughter. In a chat with our correspondent on Saturday, Major Ene who is currently challenging the Nigerian military for the alleged inhuman treatment he got after fighting in Liberia and Sierra Leone as a member of the ECOWAS Monitoring Group, ECOMOG, said her daughter, Sarah Ofon-Mbuk Ene, is constantly being threatened in her school by the Secret Service. Ofon-Mbuk is a second year student of Banking and Finance at Redeemer’s University and has been receiving threat messages from people he said were agents of the Nigerian military. Ene said: “On several occasions, my daughter receives threat massages and hate calls from people that are suspected state agents. They even threaten to kill her. They usually call her in the dead of the night. When she picks the phone the caller would warn her to tell her father to “back off”. Ene who is currently challenging the Federal Government for ill treatment and for failing to provide him with adequate medical care after bullets were lodged on his body during a bloody encounter with armed rebels in Sierra Leone, said the secret agents are waging what he calls “psychological war’ on his family. Kano Nigerians have been called upon to take active part in the strive to advance the democratisation process and sustain the culture of political pluralism in the country. Making the call in Kano, the Executive Director, Resource Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRICED), Mallam Ibrahim Zikini Ilahi called for popular participation by the citizens in governance and politics. Speaking during the workshop sponsored by German group Miserere tagged. Enhancing Participation and Accountability in Local Governance, Zikinillai said the project is unique and innovative because it addresses the political and structural aspects of democratisation and also attends to the political character of operators of governance just as it seeks to improve the democratic foundation. According to him, for change to be enhanced in Nigeria, there is the need for appropriate institutional mechanism for realizing popular governance and a nursery for its nurturing and development. He said ‘The threats posed by the features and tendencies of unaccountable governance can best be addressed and neutralised by the mass of citizens entering into and becoming a determining force in governance and the political process generally and by their developing and internalising a popular culture of democracy. He observed that for very practical reasons, such popular participation is only of very limited possibility at the national or state level. Only at the level of the local government and through its instrumentality is this type and level of popular political participation possible. Bauchi A non governmental organisation (NGO), the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) in Bauchi has asked Bauchi State government to hasten action in fishing out perpetrators of the recent crisis that engulfed parts of Bauchi metropolis. It also challenged the state government to ensure the perpetrators face appropriate penalty, and appropriate sanctions that should serve as a deterrents to others are put in place without further delay, which it said might be dangerous. The demands were contained in a statement issued and signed by the CLO chairman, Bauchi State chapter, Comrade Musa Mohammed Gani. The CLO also urged the state government to reward ward heads who contained the spread of the crises in their wards, while those known to have partnered with and allowed the miscreants to wreck havoc on innocent and law abiding citizens be severely punished for their roles. Ghani noted with regrets that despite the resources being expended in creating jobs for thousands of youths, the fundamentalists do not seem to appreciate government’s effort in trying to better the peoples live. Niger As encomiums continued on the late former first lady, Maryam Babangida, Senator Isa Mohammed has called on the federal government to name Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna after her. Speaking with Journalists after the seventhday Fidau prayer held for the repose of her soul, Senator Mohammed who was the deputy chairman Senate Committee on Local Government Administration said the only way the country can immortalize her legacies and memories is to name the Federal University of Technology in Mnna after her. Eulogising the virtues of the late First Lady, the lawmaker said that the contributions of Maryam transcende the borders of this country, stressing that lip service should not be paid towards calls for the immortalisation of her name. The prime minister of the Republic of Niger, Alhaji Aliyu Mohommed was in Minna, as he joined millions of sympathisers to condole the former military president General Ibrahim Babangida over the death of his wife, Maryam. The Nigerian leader was accompanied to the seventh day Fidau prayer by the past military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. Kaduna The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncorvered no fewer than 57 properties in the country allegedly owned by the sacked Managing Director of Oceanic Bank Plc, Mrs Cecilia Ibru. According to a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna, the properties are located in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. The statement specifically said that one of the properties is housing the visa section of the British Embassy in Abuja, while another include 15,000 square meters of land at Okunade water front Victoria Island in Lagos. Some of the properties are a 12 storey tower in one hectare of land at Ozumba Mbadiwe water front Victoria Island Lagos, three residential towers in Port Harcourt GRA, Metro Plaza Abuja where the British visa section is located a residential block of 19 apartments in 34 Bourdillon Road, Ikogi, 35B Isule Eko Avenue, Dolphin Ikoyi, and 103 hectares of land in Lagos. Others are mansions in 3 Okotie-Eboh, Ikoyi, I0A Sobo Arubrodu Street Ikeja; a storey building at 50 Marina, Lagos; seven properties in 5A George Street Ikoyi; other properties in 5B, 4B George, Street and 15, square metres of land at Okunade water front, Victoria Island Lagos. Benue National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Dr Jerry Agada has said that Nigerians would start to enjoy the benefits of over two years of planning by the Yar’Adua administration in 2010. Addressing pressmen in Makurdi he said that most of the plans initiated by the Yar’Adua administration since its inception in 2007 are matured and are ripe for manifestation. Agada who was Minister of State for Education said that he was privy to general concrete plans that are on the verge of fruition. He said that President Yar’Adua is not an administrator that believes in playing to the gallery, noting that the president believes in careful planning before commencement of execution. The ANA boss advised Nigerians not to take seriously those politicians of the health of the president through calls for his resignation, saying what the president needs is prayers to recover and handle his duties. Plateau The church in Nigeria has not contributed significantly to the overall development of the nation. This was the view expressed by the chairman, planning committee of the Annual Nigeria Christian Fair 2010, Prof John Brown. According to Brown, “we cannot say very satisfactory. But to a certain extent, the church in Nigeria is trying to move this country forward. But we are not yet there. We are just on the way. The journey has stared and we are hoping to be there,” he added. Speaking on the Fair coming up in Abuja next year, he said, “where the church has failed the nation is that the church has condoned a number of corrupt politicians. “The church invites these politicians when they are having launchings in their churches and then these politicians may donate million of naira. But nobody will ask them where do you get these millions from.”
EFCC Re-Arrests Fani-Kayode
A former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has been re-invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following investigations into alleged document falsification
Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, is standing trial on alleged N4.6billion money laundering, before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
Other defendants are Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
They are facing a 17-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the anti-graft agency.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
The trial had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence until Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was consequently, re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 27.
Meanwhile, at the last adjourned date, FaniKayode was absent from court and the defence counsel who appeared on his behalf, Mr Fred Ajudua informed the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General Hospital in Abuja.
He had prayed for an adjournment on that ground on behalf of the second defendant
But, the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs BilikisuBuhari, informed the court that the same tactics had always been adopted by the defendant whenever he does not want to attend court.
After going through the court’s records, Justice Osiagor noted that it was clear that the defendant had issued a similar letter of excuse five times.
Abiodun Presents N350.74bn 2022 Budget To Ogun Assembly
Governor Dapo Abiodun has presented the 2022 appropriation bill of N350.74 billion to the Ogun State House of Assembly.
Abiodun, yesterday, presented the bill, tagged ‘Budget of Restoration’ to the lawmakers at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Addressing the assembly members at a ceremony presided over by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, Abiodun reiterated his determination to give priority attention to the completion of existing projects, projects with revenue potential and projects that can enhance employment generation.
According to the governor, the total state funding is estimated at N350.74 billion in 2022.
This, Abiodun said, “includes Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) estimates of N56.30 billion and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) estimated at N96.87 billion totaling N153.17 billion. Statutory allocation (i.e. FAAC and VAT) is expected to be N73.01 billion while the capital receipt is estimated at N124.56 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans including Grants and Aids etc).”
On planned expenditure, Abiodun explained that “the aggregate expenditure of N350.74 billion is proposed for the State Government in 2022.”
Under recurrent expenditure, a total of N75B is to be expended in paying salaries and allowances in MDAs; N28b on debt service obligations and N51b on total overhead costs of MDAs and government-owned enterprises.
For capital expenditure, Abiodun said N170 billion is budgeted, being an increase of N10 billion over the 2021 approval of N160 billion.
He added that a total sum of N7.7billion is provided for transfers to the Stabilization Fund to insulate and position the State towards unprecedented activities or economic shocks.
Of the entire budget, Education gulps N56,071.21b, representing 16 percent; while Health takes N35,073.51b, being 10 percent.
Infrastructure takes the largest share of N77,775.77, which is 22 percent of the budget.
The Assembly is expected to legislate on the appropriation bill and return a clean copy to the governor for his assent.
The Speaker assured Abiodun of a speedy and thorough legislative process on the proposed budget with a view to sustaining the tradition of its passage on record time to comply with the January to December cycle in line with the international financial standards.
ICPC Uncovers N20bn Project Duplication, Personnel Budget Fraud In MDAs
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered gross abuse of personnel budget as well as duplication of projects by some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amounting to over N20.138 billion.
The duplication and padding occurred in the implementation of the 2021 budget and involved about 257 projects, the anti-corruption agency said its review shows.
The anti-graft agency said it is investigating the Ministry of Labour and the University College Hospital Ibadan as well as corrupt staff members in other MDAs suspected of massive illegal recruitment.
ICPC chairperson, Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his welcome address at the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service and Presentation of Public Service Integrity Award on Tuesday.
Themed, ‘Corruption and the Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency’, the event was held at the State House Conference Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Many dignitaries including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were in attendance.
In his address, Owasanoye said ICPC, through its projects tracking, found out that skyrocketing personnel in many MDAs was attributable to massive budgetary scam, including illegal recruitment, unilateral increase in wages, indiscriminate travels, among others.
“The high cost of governance and rising personnel budget in Nigeria is as a result of illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, indiscriminate local and international travels, unreasonable demands by some political appointee board members of MDAs without regard for extant circulars on cost management; procurement fraud, budget padding, etc,” he said.
“This has continued to reflect in the huge wage bill on personnel and operational cost standing at about 70 per cent of annual budget”.
According to Mr Owasanoye, the “malfeasance” the anti-graft agency uncovered in the recruitment process by some MDAs including the labour ministry is perpetrated with the connivance of some staff members of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He noted the cases and officials involved were under investigation.
“At another level, a syndicate of corrupt individuals within the service corruptly employ unsuspecting Nigerians, issue them fake letters of employment, fraudulently enrolling them on IPPIS and post them to equally unsuspecting MDAs to commence work”.
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